Milton HS coach loses battle to cancer

8:40 AM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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MILTON, Ga. -- Milton high school assistant football coach Michael Scott lost his battle to cancer over the weekend. Scott's wife posted the news late Saturday night on the "Prayers for Michael Scott" Facebook page.

11Alive's Duffie Dixon talked with Scott's fellow coaches Sunday afternoon as they held the Big Show NFL Play 60 Football Camp.  The event was named in Scott's honor; players referred to him as "Big Show."

Head football coach Howie DeCristofaro called the day "bittersweet."

"I know how much pain he was in, so I am glad he is in a better place, but it is tough on us and the players.  He was only 36 years old.  It is hard to wrap your head around it," DeCristofaro said.

Coach Scott's cancer diagnosis came as a shock to his family. Last month, he went to the doctor for what he thought was acid reflux.

Instead, tests found Stage IV pancreatic cancer, which had spread to his lungs and liver. Doctors gave him only weeks to live, and he returned home to spend his last remaining days with his family.

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Over the last several weeks, the community has rallied around the family to show their support. The Milton Eagles football team wore their coach's initials on their helmets and sold red bracelets to raise more than $25,000 to help pay for his medical bills.

Donations to Sunday's football camp will also go to the family.  Athletic Director Gary Sylvestri said the camp brought together some of the many NFL players, college players and high school students Scott has influenced over the years.

"He touched a lot of lives in this community.  The fact that so many people are willing to donate funds to his family and time to causes like this that he was passionate about is a testament to what kind of man he was," Sylvestri said.

One of the people who knows first hand the power of Coach Scott is former Pittsburgh Steelers player Tim Lester. He organized The Big Show NFL 60 Football Camp.

"Coach Scott was a close friend of mine. Five years ago, he convinced me to come out of retirement and join his coaching staff. We want to hold this camp every year to teach kids about the importance of being physically active and to keep Big Show alive forever," Lester said.

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